Wonderland, Part One is the first issue of the Willow: Wonderland comic book series. Written by Jeff Parker and illustrated by Brian Ching, it was originally published on November 7, 2012 by Dark Horse Comics.
With the disappearance of magic, Willow Rosenberg lost the very thing that made her tick. Armed with Buffy's broken scythe, and fresh off an adventure with Angel and Faith, Willow is ready to find a solution on her own terms. The world can't live without magic — and neither can she!
A few months after the Seed of Wonder was broken and magic left Earth, Willow noticed that something was wrong with the world; it had become a bleak and somber place not just for her but for others as well. With the help of Angel, she found a way to leave Earth and enter another dimension. She starts with a ritual Giles taught her, which required her to draw a symbol on the ground and sacrifice some bodily fluid. Because she was afraid to go dark without anyone around her, she used spittle instead of her blood.
For a moment, she believes the ritual has failed, but then the circle bursts into flames and shows her a path to follow. While she does so, she is attacked by wing-heads and a bogworm. She escapes and runs into a conjurer named Marrak, who claims to be from Earth as well. Willow questions him because of his animalistic appearance, but he assures her his visage is due to the use of dark magic. He explains that he regularly visits the dimension they are in to collect magical supplies, but that he has not been able to return to Earth.
Marrak decides to help her because he longs to go home. They continue to follow the lights, when they are attacked by a Hyberrax. Willow uses magic to trap it for six hours, but Marrak then kills it. He explains the world they are in is unforgiving, so they need to be too, and also that they need to eat. They cook the creature's meat then go to sleep, as Marrak says it'll all be worth it after he's back home and has his power restored.
The next day, they travel to a magical forest where they encounter a spring. Marrak wants to drink from it, but Willow warns him the water might be cursed. She uses a purity pendant in the spring so they can drink, but the water causes a flood of memories to pour over her. Marrak experiences the same thing with his own memories, so he comments on her failure to detect this.
The Caterpillar appears explaining in verse that the amulet told them the water would not poison them, which it did not. He tells them that Lewis Carroll based his Wonderland characters on the realm they are in, as the dimension could be accessed from Earth by drinking absinthe. Willow explains the being her purpose of restoring magic, and Marrak comments that dark magic would be the best way to bring magic back. The being says that dark and light are not so easily disentangled. Upon hearing a crashing sound, the Caterpillar asks if they had killed something on their way. Another Hyberrax then appears, now twice as large.
- In her inner monologue, Willow says the world is losing inspiration and that suicide rates are becoming more and more common. Willow earlier mentioned this in Family Reunion, Part One.
- Willow refers to her decision to team up with Angel and his mission to resurrect Giles, as discussed in Family Reunion, Part One.
- Willow continues her extradimensional adventure from Family Reunion, Part Four.
- Willow refers to wing-heads as flying monkeys, the creature Andrew Wells summoned in high school ("Flooded").
- Upon seeing Willow, Marrak says to himself that "if can't be... her," as it'll be revealed in Wonderland, Part Four that he knew Willow from before.
- Marrak suggests to Willow that she can be the source of magic in the world; while Willow replies it seems dangerous, she'll become responsible for giving birth to the new Seed of Wonder in The Core, Part Four.
- Willow has visions of past events in her life: joining of the Scooby Gang in "The Harvest," the start of her relationship with Oz upon realizing he's a werewolf in "Phases," her magic rush with Rack in "Wrecked," holding Tara's dead body in "Villains," and her sexual relationship with Aluwyn shown in Anywhere but Here.
- Angel (Only mentioned)
- Rupert Giles (Only mentioned)
- Alexander Harris (Only in visions)
- Tara Maclay (Only in visions)
- Daniel Osbourne (Only in visions)
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers (Only in flashbacks)
Organizations and titles
- Werewolf (Only in flashbacks)
- Vampire (Only in flashbacks)
- Zompire (Only in flashbacks)
Rituals and spells
- One zompire, staked by Buffy (in flashback).
- One unidentifed man, died by suicide (in flashback).
- Five wing-heads, burned by Marrak.
- Two vampires, staked by Buffy (in vision).
- Tara Maclay, shot by Warren (in vision).
- One Hyberrax cub, stabbed by Marrak.
Behind the scenes
- Willow meditates in front of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.
- Wonderland, Part One was the 107th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 21,260 sales in November 2012 at comic specialty stores.
Pop culture references
- Willow reflects that Coke doesn't taste right anymore.
- Willow mentions she found a way into the "magic blue yonder," a reference to the official song of the United States Air Force known as "Wild Blue Yonder" (1939).
- While venturing deeper in the dimension, Willow quips: "Follow the hellish brick road," a paraphrased version of "follow the yellow brick road" from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900).
- Willow thanks the Greek goddess Artemis.
- Willow says "chug-a-lug," the title of a 1964 song.
- Upon seeing the Caterpillar, Willow states the dimension is starting to "look like a rip off of Wonderland," a reference to the novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865). The Caterpillar also mentions its writer Lewis Caroll based it off the dimension.
- Willow pronounces the Hammer of Govannon spell as "escudo" instead of the Latin "excudo."
|Willow: "Music, poetry, everything's going bad. This isn't just me not liking new trends. No one can hit a note, everyone's auto-tuned. Coke doesn't taste right anymore. I see examples everywhere. It's not just that there suddenly aren't witches and the occult around now. Suicide rates are moving up everyday. It's the inspiration, the dreams. All the things that make life so wonderful. It's just not quite... there like it used to be. So I'm setting out to do something about it. To bring magic back."|
|Willow: "Come any closer and I'll... keep backing away in an intimidating fashion..!"|
|Marrak: "I am from the same world as you, Miss..."|
|Willow: "Willow. Really? Because I don't remember a ton of animal-man sorcerers, and I kinda got around. Geographically, I mean."|
|Willow: (stares at the demom Marrak's cooking) "It wouldn't be so bad except for the eyeballs and the random teeth."|
|Willow: "Marrak, that water's making me see a big fat caterpillar speaking in bad verse. You?"|
|Marrak: "Same thing."|
- "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow—Wonderland #1 (David Mack cover)". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved on June 17, 2021.
- "Top 300 Comics Actual--November 2012". ICv2, December 10, 2012.